Fuzzy Logic

I’m a vegan. To those that know me, this comes as no surprise. Some of my friends have argued with me about the relative merits of veganism and alternative diets/life styles, and have on occasion found me defending my position with a fervour that borders on preaching1.

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In all these discussions, I’ve found that reasonable arguments, such as discussions about the health benefits or environmental effects of different diets have little or no impact in getting people to accept2 my position. When all is said and done, people’s positions are mostly based on their personal beliefs, and far less on facts – my own included.

My belief in this matter, however, is easily misunderstood or discounted. So here’s an attempt at explaining it.

Let’s start with what I’m not motivated by, and things I have been implicitly or explicitly been accused of:

  • I’m not trying to set myself apart from everyone else.
  • While I have health reasons for not consuming dairy, I have none concerning meat, eggs, honey or crushed beetles. Health reasons certainly don’t apply for my avoiding leather, fur or wool products.
  • I’m not cultivating a hysterically exaggerated empathy with fuzzy animals.
  • I’m not an idiot. At least, I don’t think I am, and I wouldn’t expect my friends to do so either.
  • I’m not extending pacifism or similar strict interpersonal codes of conduct to members of other species3.

Interestingly enough, this short list just about sums up what most people can come up with reasons why I should have chosen to become vegan.

  1. Something which, incidentally, increases proportionally to the amount people defend their opposing life choices to me []
  2. Not adopt: it’s up to them to adopt whichever point of view they want, but I’d like everyone to accept that I won’t eat carcasses []
  3. Technically, I am, but only as a second step – my motivation comes from elsewhere []